10 Creative Risks to Take With Your Students This Year Blog Post

We aren’t sure what this year will look like. With the spike in Covid cases, it might involve more hybrid or virtual learning. Or it might be more of a “return to normal.” But regardless of the situation, we do know that teachers will continue…

Sometimes Student Choice Isn’t the Answer in Reading Blog Post

In my previous articles, I’ve explored how we can empower students with voice and choice in reading. However, today’s article provides some nuance. While we need to empower readers to own their learning and we need to create extended periods of choice-based independent reading time,…

Every Student Deserves Access to Project-Based Learning Blog Post

Years ago, my friend Chad (who tragically passed away from cancer last year) started the 21st Century Classroom initiative in our district. Teachers would be part of six-person teams where they would attend professional development, receive state-of-the-art technology, and have a learning coach who would…

Four Ways to Boost Collaboration in Student Projects Blog Post

Creative collaboration can be challenging at every every level of education. Sometimes the issue is work imbalance, with one student doing the majority of the work while others slack off. The term organizational psychology is “cognitive loafing.” In some cases, it can feel like one…

Want Students to Be More Creative? Try Adding More Play. Blog Post

It’s supposed to snow this week, which reminds me of a moment four years ago when it snowed. We were from Phoenix, which meant our children had spent their lives  experiencing the two seasons of blazingly hot and nice. The only thing that changed color…

Using a Wonder Day Project to Spark Student Inquiry Blog Post

My friend George Couros once said, “If students leave school less curious than when they have started, we have failed them.” I tend to agree. I’ve never heard of a cosmologist who says, “I’m done with the universe. No more questions here.” I’ve also never…

7 Ways to Build Creative Confidence in Students Blog Post

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time to visit my 9-year old self and say, “Dude, you got this. Right now, it’s hard but someday you’ll be using your voice to make art. Trust me, it gets better. Way better.” I was in…

What happens when students launch their work to an audience? Blog Post

Right now, I’m feeling the effects of social isolation. My social circle is essentially my wife and my kids. I’m only going out when necessary to go to the grocery store. This Thanksgiving will be the first in years that I don’t see friends or…

The Real Issue Isn’t Student Engagement Blog Post

The shift toward virtual and hybrid learning can be challenging; especially around student engagement. However, sometimes the real challenge isn’t one of student engagement so much as student empowerment. In this article, we explore how teachers can design distance learning with student self-direction at the…

Using Scavenger Hunts to Get Students Moving in Virtual Learning Blog Post

When we hear the terms “virtual learning” or “remote learning,” it’s easy to imagine students spending eight hours a day in front of a screen. However, as educators, we know that this approach isn’t developmentally appropriate. Children need to move around and interact with their…